Dun Laoghaire Rathdown has made its first steps towards being a plastic free county.
A motion tabled by Cllr Dave O’Keeffe (PBP) was recently passed at an environment meeting of the council and will see the council offering discounts, on a trial basis, to customers for using reusable ‘keep cups’ rather than the standard disposable cups.
The council has also agreed to proactively support a new scheme that will aim to reduce plastics by supplying posters and information to local coffee shops, in an effort to reduce the number of coffee cups ending up as litter or in landfill.
There are currently up to two million disposable coffee cups sent to landfill sites in Ireland every single day.
Cllr O’Keeffe believes the move will help cut down on unnecessary waste and is hopeful that the scheme can be expanded across the county to all coffee shops and become a permanent feature in the near future.
Speaking after the passing of the motion, Cllr O’Keeffe said: “This move is not a panacea, but it is a move in the right direction.
“Local authorities and public representatives need to lead by example and we should be trying to promote a community that is less wasteful and more thoughtful.
“I am hopeful that businesses in the area will be willing to promote the scheme and reward their customers opt to use ’keep cups’.”
Cllr O’Keeffe added that Ireland faces an annual fine of €75 million from the EU if it cannot reduce its emissions and reach sustainability targets before 2020.
“The onus needs to be on business owners to be less wasteful and switch to greener practices as overworked consumers will inevitably choose the cheapest most convenient option.
“By offering a discount we would at least make the idea of carrying a keep cup more attractive,” Cllr O’Keeffe said.